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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Abundantly yours, Abra (Part 1)

Tik, tok, tik, tok... I glanced as my watch hit 10PM comes Friday night on the the 15th of June. Yeah! it's Abra time.:)

I was glad to be invited to visit Abra. There was a ceremonial rite that my best of friend had to attend to for her mother's passing early last year. That was a tradition that we, Filipinos never fail to forget. She told us her plan ahead of time and I got so interested of joining her to see what Abra could offer the world.

Searching for things to do in Abra and more specific details of the place could be a challenge for traveler like me. It seems Abra is one of those un-explored beauties of the Philippines. But true enough, we got some ideas on what to look for in Abra with minute details at hand through the net.

General Information of Bangued, Abra:

Abra belongs to Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The people heavily rely on farming and livestocks as Abra offered them rich soil comprising the Cordillera mountain.

How to get there:

Abra is mostly traveled by bus. It will take about 9-10 hours to reach San Quintin, the first town of Abra and will take 4 more hours to reach its farthest town. In Metro Manila, many bus operators offer hourly trips to Abra; like Dominion, Partas and a lot more. You can find them in Cubao, Quezon City.

If you were traveling on tours in Ilocos Sur; Abra is just an hour and a half from Vigan and will be a worthwhile side trip for you.

Not known to many, you can cut the long ride via air travel going to Vigan. SeaAir leaves Manila twice a week for Vigan City. It will take less than an hour flight from Manila to Vigan; and, from Vigan take a bus going to Abra for another hour and a half ride.

We traveled by bus not knowing the possibility of reaching Abra quick via air until just recently. The road travel offers a magnificent nature tour to visitors. High mountains; greenery and ancient structures caught my eyes. The roads are well-maintained and does not offer a bumpy ride.

Our first stop was at the house of my friend in San Quintin. The first town just across the Tangadan Tunnel. If many places welcome you with arcs; Abra welcomes the visitor with a greatly built tunnel dividing Ilocos Sur and Abra itself.

I told you that we listed the places we wanted visit right? Well, our new found friends and my friend's relatives offered us more interesting facts. Every town of Abra has its own natural wonders. If you wanted falls; they have their own falls. If you wanted caves; they have nearby caves too! If you wanted to mountain hike; by all means Abra boasts for an interesting hike. In short; we wander not that far from San Quintin to enjoy our visit. Yet, we visited Bangued at the end of our tour as well as the infamous Abra River :)

After witnessing the ceremonial rites; we walked a few meters from the house of my friend to see Pantoc river and Falls. We passed through the farm, the forest and the river. We played like children as we move along the pathways. Clinging on branches and even climbing the trees were our side trips hehhehe. Reaching the falls; means reaching its top first; and seeing the falls itself, means trekking down or rapelling down the hills. Pantoc Falls is about 30 feet high and to go down means walking in a man-made irrigation and grasping and clinging on vines down the hill. It was an adventure we will never forget. Funny, but the kids there just passed us by without looking exhausted; while we, on the other hand looked frightened and troubled by the steep hill that we had to conquer to see the Falls.

The rushing of water produced a twin falls in sight. No wonder why the trees and the greens are sprawling beautifully in Abra. It is the water that comes in abundance in this place! We enjoyed the falls for just a short while as it was raining for a few days in Abra and the water reaching the lake was a little muddy but the water streaming down the falls are clear. When we asked where to take a clean water to bathe; they led us back on top of the falls; and at the middle we saw a clear, clean spring. The natives of San Quintin cemented the spring so it will not mix with the water from the river. Another new experience for us! Surprisingly, we took a bath where everyone can see what we were doing! haha! It was a real challenge on our part; but we laughed at the experience it bestowed us.

The next stop was the infamous Abra river. It is the 6th largest Philippine river. And my, it's huge! See my blog entry for the rest of our Abra Trip on the next post :)


Rah said...

your pics reveal abra's inner peace and beauty. :)

can't wait to discover abra river on your next post.

G at said...

Thanks Rah :) I loved the place, I felt God in it! But the most thing i will treasure are the great people I met there.. kakamiss sila :)

Thanks for dropping by

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